Thursday, June 2, 2016

Assadour shines at Sursock museum

Artwork by Assadour
For their sophomore show after the wonderful inaugural one about Beirut, Sursock Museum strikes again with Assadour. Curator Joseph Tarrab (and co-curator Nora Razian) placed the famous Lebanese artist's (of Armenian origin) works chronologically, ending with the current ones which are more canvas-based with striking colors. The show is called "Landscape in Motion" and no wonder - everything is fleeting, rootless, part historical debris part man-made. The beauty of Assadour is that he never changed.
For all my knowledge of Lebanese art I confess to not have known older works of the artist, which, truth be told, are the exact prequels for the ones I have come to know starting the late 80s. There was less color perhaps at the origin, and the surfaces were smaller (only when he progressed in his career did Assadour start using large-surface canvas) preferring etchings (for which he was known for his technical prouesse) at the beginning of his career.
The merit of the curators is that, even a piece called "untitled, undated" was fit exactly in its right time place between two similar works. Assadour holds surprises in the details of the works, one called "mirrors" shows two seemingly opposite prints of the same character, but look closely and you start to play the "spot the differences" game. Indeed, the mirrors are tweaked in a way to make you wonder if anything is a total reflection of anything else.
And of course, there's the geometry, the lines, the search for landmarks where there are none. A little obsessive-compulsively, repetitively, yet differently every time, without betraying his artistic style, yet thankfully, without finding himself so as for him to keep looking - and looking, as his landscape goes further in motion.